“Cancer Coach is really useful. People understand your situation more than family and friends.” – Diane’s story

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“I didn’t really believe I had cancer until I turned up at the breast cancer clinic for my chemotherapy.” Diane was 63 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She had pain in her shoulder and jaw, seeking treatment from a chiropractor for a long time. She had previously missed her scheduled mammograms, and decided that she should have one.

Following her mammogram she had two core biopsies, and within three weeks she had had a mastectomy and an implant. Following problems with the implant, she had it removed and used a prosthesis.

Diane found it difficult to see her partner become more “like a carer”, though he was very supportive. She saw her friends “fade away” when they realised that she wasn’t going to get better soon. Diane felt very abandoned following her treatment.

Once her treatment was finished, Diane was invited to attend Cancer Support UK’s free Cancer Coach support group.

These peer support groups are for people who have finished their cancer treatment and need someone to speak to. The groups are split into weekly sessions held over six weeks and are carried out by telephone or over a video call. Each group is facilitated by a Cancer Coach who is experienced in group facilitation and coaching.

Diane said: “I thought that the Cancer Coach groups were really useful. People understand your situation more than family and friends who don’t necessarily understand how you’re feeling. I never felt like I was being bumped out of the way – people were really considerate and listened to my experiences.”

Cancer Coach support groups are run by Cancer Support UK for people who have finished their cancer treatment. The groups are split into weekly sessions held over six weeks and are carried out free of charge by telephone or over a video call. Each group is facilitated by a trained Cancer Coach who leads the group, offers support, and structures the conversation. 

Cancer Coach is for anyone over the age of 18 who has completed treatment for cancer, regardless of whether they finished treatment a few months ago or a few years ago. To participate in a Cancer Coach support group, sign up here.